Wetumpka has been in the national spotlight recently thanks to the exposure that Hometown Takeover brought to this city on the river. This national spotlight has also brought a lot of attention to a group of local quilters, the Thread My Needle Club.

"They were on HGTV when Wetumpka had their hometown makeover a few months ago, and it got good publicity from it," Winfred Wise with the Lucille Wise Memorial Foundation said.

Since Hometown Takeover aired, the Elmore County Black History Museum's Facebook page has been getting requests for these one-of-a-kind handmade quilts.

To help the Thread My Needle Club fill all of the new requests for quilts, the Lucille Wise Memorial Foundation and the African American Heritage Association both donated $500 to the Thread My Needle quilters.  

"For a total of $1,000," Wise said.

Councilmember Cheryl Tucker participated in the check presentation.

"We are here this morning to present two organizations that have had a positive impact here in the Wetumpka community, The Elmore County African American Heritage Association," Tucker said.

Billie Rawls, who is the curator at the museum, and Theresa Crum spoke on behalf of the African American Heritage Association.

"We, too, appreciate you ladies. We want to help you all buy materials and whatever you need to continue your quilting. We appreciate you all carrying on the tradition because it is an art that has been lost," Crum said.

Quilt requests started pouring in from around the country, and since Hometown Makeover aired earlier this year, there has been an influx of visitors to the Wetumpka area, some from as far away as California.  

"They wanted to see Wetumpka," founder of Thread My Needle Jacqueline Lacey said.  

The Thread My Needle Club meets every Tuesday. Before the group began meeting at the Elmore County Black History Museum, they would meet in Lacey's home where they would practice different crafts.

"Our story started at my house," Lacey said. "When we came here the ladies started making crochet and we weren't making progress, but we started quilting. We did better quilting so we put the other crafts down."

Martha Piner is a member of the quilting club, who, like Lacey and most of the ladies in the group, grew up quilting.

"Since I was a little girl," Lacey said. "All of the ladies in the community were doing this and I said, 'I would love to do this,'”.

Even as a child Lacey was helping others thread a needle.

"Some of them didn't know how to thread a needle then and I was a little girl but I could thread it for them. And I would thread their needle for them," Lacey said.

You may think that's where the name Thread My Needle came from, but it wasn't. The name came to Lacey years later.

"One of the ladies that used to come here, she would quilt but she would ask us to thread her needle. She couldn't see so good. That was at my house. I went to get more fabric and I heard her say 'thread my needle'. Do you know, it came to me in the night after that? I said 'oh my goodness. I think that would be a good name for us'," Lacey explained.

At the next meeting, Lacey asked the other ladies what they thought of the name. They liked it, and that's how Thread My Needle came to be.

Today, the group meets to quilt, and for fellowship. Mazell Townsend, who is an Elmore County native, is 98-years-young and enjoys her time with the Thread My Needle Club.

"I love this," Townsend said. "I enjoy coming here and spending time with these ladies."

The ladies in the Thread My Needle group say their main goal is to preserve the art of quilting and pass the skill on to the next generation of quilters.

For more information about the Thread My Needle Club, contact the Elmore County Black History Museum at